2021 IT salary trends in Australia, city by city

Hays’s latest salary guide report found record levels of IT hiring across the country and that 37% of technology staff expect a salary increase of more than 6%.

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Hays’s yearly salary guide report has revealed that hiring demand in technology has reached “record levels” 14 months after the initial COVID-19 lockdown and work-from-home directives due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The report identified that, in Australia, there has been a further acceleration of cloud migrations which resulted in the demand for cloud engineers with knowledge in the Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure clouds. The report also noticed an increase in the search for devops engineers and site reliability engineers.

Other key roles identified include penetration testers, security engineers, and GRC (governance, risk, and compliance) consultants, data scientists and data analysts, developers (particularly full-stack developers), front-end developers and UI/UX designers. It also reminded of the increasing need for soft skills including adaptability, collaboration, communications, creativity, and problem-solving.

Australian IT salaries for 2021

The Hays Salary Guide FY21/22 comes a month after Robert Half’s Salary Guide for Australia. Across the board, IT wages in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney are very similar in both guides, typically with differences of roughly of $10,000 to $20,000 a year, up or down across most areas.

The Hays report is the result of the survey of 3,500 organisations and 3,800 skilled professionals across Australia and New Zealand, and it covers a broader range of IT roles in areas including cloud, cybersecurity, data and advanced analytics, ERM/CRM, and testing.

The Hays report includes data from other capital cities not covered by the previous report, including Adelaide, Canberra, Darwin, and Hobart.

Across all major cities, ERP and CRM developers get paid between $110,000 and $160,000—with variations of $10,000 up or down. ERP and CRM functional consultants get up to $200,000 with similar variations.

Adelaide IT salaries

Adelaide is the capital city that pays the highest rate for development or engineering managers, with wages going as high as $224,000.

User support Level 1 professionals get paid from $50,000 to $64,000 a year, and a service desk manager get up to $105,000. Network architects get up to $140,000 a year, and infrastructure architects up to $177,000.

Program managers get between $130,000 and $210,000, senior change managers up to $175,000, and enterprise architects up to $184,000.

Brisbane IT salaries

In Brisbane, an infrastructure architect’s salary starts at $130,000, according to Hays. An experienced enterprise architect in Brisbane gets $20,000 less than in Robert Half’s survey, reaching $180,000.

Developer wages, including full-stack and front-end developers, starts at $70,000 and go as high as $130,000.

A data analyst’s wage vary from $80,000 to $120,000, a data engineer’s from $100,000 to $140,00, and a data scientist’s from $120,000 to $180,000 a year.

When it comes to cybersecurity, the Hays guide is more comprehensive and includes the roles of cybersecurity analyst (with salaries up to $140,000), penetration tester (up to $160,000) and cybersecurity architect (up to $200,000).

CIOs and CISOs get as much as $280,000 and $260,000, respectively, according to the Half report; Hays found that CIOs get up to $300,000 in Brisbane.

Canberra IT salaries

Unsurprisingly, Sydney has come first in most roles as the city that pays higher wages to IT professionals, usually followed by Melbourne. But across the board, Canberra tends to pay similarly high wages, with a few areas paying more than any other capital city. For those in testing, for example, the highest pay is found in Canberra, where experienced test analysts get up to $102,000 and test leads up to $150,000.

Another role where professionals get higher rates in Canberra include network architect at $160,000 to $200,000—or $25,000 more than in Sydney.

Darwin IT salaries

User support Level 1 professionals get paid from $50,000 to $64,000 a year, and a service desk manager get up to $95,000. Network architects get up to $154,000 a year, and infrastructure architects up to $172,000.

A senior business analyst get up to $163,000, cloud engineers get as much as $133,000, and cloud architects get up to $180,000.

Hobart and Launceston IT salaries

Program managers get between $130,000 and $180,000, senior change managers up to $153,000, and enterprise architects $173,000.

A cybersecurity engineer in Hobart or Launceston gets between $90,000 and $130,000, and cybersecurity architects get up to $163,000. But cybersecurity manager wager don’t go higher than $140,000.

Melbourne IT salaries

An enterprise architect in Melbourne get up to $255,000, according to Hays, while the previous guide capped the role at a maximum of $220,000. Hays also offers different data for regional Victoria where, for example, the same role pays a lot less, reaching a maximum of $185,000 a year.

In the data space, a data scientist in Melbourne gets up to $245,000 a year, a data analyst gets between $77,000 and $133,000 depending on the experience, a data engineer gets between $110,000 and $180,000, and a data architect gets between $140,000 and $200,000.

Developer wages, including full-stack and front-end developers, vary from $80,000 to $140,000. CIOs and CISOs get as much as $360,000.

Perth IT salaries

In Perth, the differences between the Hays and Robert Half reports are more significant. While Robert Half’s report found that a CISO gets up to $200,000 in Perth, the Hays report shows a maximum wage of $245,000. An enterprise architect gets up to $195,000 a year, according to Hays, $25,000 less than in the Robert Half report.

A senior front-end developer gets up to $140,000, and a senior .NET or Java developer or full-stack developer gets as much as $130,000.

Sydney IT salaries

Data scientists, a high-demand role according to several previous local studies, get up to $260,000 in Sydney. Other roles in data and analytics included in the report are data analyst (up to $130,000), data engineer (up to $180,000) and data architect (up to $200,000).

A cybersecurity engineer in Sydney gets up to $155,000, and both cybersecurity architects and managers get up to $220,000.

Salary increases: Australian IT professionals’ expectations

From March 2020, many organisations in Australia introduced salary and hiring freezes, and many nonessential projects were put on hold. However, digital transformation was fast-forwarded across many Australian companies as a response to a need for hybrid or remote work or simply to keep many businesses going under changed circumstances.

“But while there has been a dramatic increase in vacancies, we’ve also seen a significant change to the candidate market,” the Hays report said. “Reduced skilled migration, mobility restrictions, and the preference of candidates to remain in their existing role have reduced the number of active candidates on the market. This has exacerbated candidate shortages.”

Those shortages are why Hays expects almost seven in ten employers—across all industries—will award pay rises to their staff in their next review. Hays warned, though, that pay rises may be lower than employees expect as many companies work to stabilise the business, part of which means controlling costs.

In technology roles, 11% of employees said they expect no increase in salary, 21% expect up to 3% increase, and 37% expect a greater than 6% increase—but only 5% of employers plan to give more than a 6% increase.

Career advice for IT professionals

If looking to advance their career, job-seekers should be aware of what are the skills in demand across their area and look for a way to differentiate from other candidates, Hays advised.

Hays also suggested that job-seekers should:

  • Understand how your skills fit into the bigger picture of the organisation’s strategic objectives.
  • Not underestimate the importance of demonstrating the desired soft skills.
  • Be active in relevant tech communities and build your brand and portfolio of work.

The recruiting firm also warned employers that the skills needed today may be different from those needed soon and therefore to look beyond today’s essential skills in candidates.

The need to upskill doesn’t only apply to IT but to all areas. Hays highlighted the need to acquire digital proficiency independent of the area of work.

“Employers value candidates who can leverage new technology to work more effectively and efficiently. Data analysis skills are also increasingly valued across job functions. According to our survey, over the past year just 45% of skilled professionals developed their technical skills and 21% gained higher or additional qualifications. Advancing your skills could therefore provide a competitive advantage in the job market,” the report said.


Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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